Group walk report 9th March

A happy bunch of slightly damp ramblers at Werneth Low

Despite the promise of dreadful weather, a group of eleven East Cheshire Ramblers set out for a walk from the Broadbottom/Chisworth border. Our route soon reached the Broad Mills Heritage Site and took us along the River Etherow. This was the location of textile mill buildings built and developed from 1802, and by 1824 included three large cotton spinning mills. The mills closed in 1860, re-opening in 1870 under different ownership for textile production and closing again in the late 1920’s. We followed the river in a south-westerly direction, until reaching a footbridge, here we left the river bank, to pick up the Cown Edge Way, eventually reaching Werneth Low Country Park, where we had our coffee break, whilst enjoying the stunning views. After our refreshments, we continued alongside the golf course before descending steadily to Etherow Country Park, where we re-joined the river from which the park gets its name. The park originated in the1820’s then in 1968 it became one of England’s first country parks, and now attracts over a quarter million visitors a year. Passing the weir, our path took us uphill again, through Ernocroft Wood to reach and cross the Glossop Road. We continued in a southerly direction along a path which is often muddy, but today, as hardcore had been laid making it was easier to navigate. Continuing our route via Ernocroft and Gird Lane, we reached a field path which took us to the Cown Edge Way again. This is a 28 mile generally U-shaped path, which starts in Hazel Grove and ends in Gee Cross. It takes in stretches of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals before ascending to Cown Edge, which was our destination. On our way up, we passed some stones, which are known as Robin Hood’s Picking Rods. They are believed to be the bases of double cross shafts dating to the 9th century. They are used as boundary markers. According to tradition Robin Hood bent his bow between the rods. From here, it was an easy climb to the top, where again we were able to enjoy excellent views. Finally, we descended gradually via Hargate Hill, crossing the Glossop Road again and joining the Trans Pennine Trail for a short time to arrive back at our start point. A final de-brief was held over tea and cakes at Lymefield Garden Centre.

Our morning break on Werneth Low moments before the rain and ice pellets started.

Waiting for the rear of the party to catch up in Etherow Country Park.

Weir on the River Etherow in Etherow Country Park.

Robin Hood’s Picking Rods often passed on are walks in the area.

Cown Edge in not the best of weather. We ddin’t time the walk well over the summit as driving rain set in for awhile.